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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Did P addiction cause Australian murder?

A high profile Aussie rules coach has been killed, apparently by his son. Local papers are suggesting that the son was a methamphetamine addict, and this may have caused the murder.

Less invested social commentators such as Stephen Lord "Lordy" on Google+ have asked:
"Why is it that illegal drugs are an excuse for a crime?

...

Before blaming the drug, try blaming the incredible arrogance or ignorance of the person who used a drug that has a history of turning users violent _anyone recall a story about a homeless guy getting his face eaten off?

How does blaming one illegal act excuse another?"

My answer to him is that western society has invested so much in the view of the drug user as "Victim" and the supplier as villain that its official disinformation channels find it difficult to find any different narrative.

I can't think of a single historical black-market that was ever destroyed by attacking the supply side, but end the demand and the suppliers go away. How big is the black-market for bootleg liquor in the US today? Even the (pre 2003) Taliban only managed to severely reduce production and not end opium (Heroin) production. Of course, since the US invaded, they've had to swallow their pride and produce opium for funding.

I believe we need to end the black market in drugs by allowing the relatively innocuous drugs to be legitimately traded and removing the addicted consumers of the more dangerous and addictive ones to a place of safety for containment or cure. I said this in the 1990s, I said it here in 2009 and I'm still saying it now.

Phil Walsh was an adult. Twelve years ago, a 6 year old Coral Burrows was murdered by her methamphetamine addicted mother's methamphetamine using step father. She was living in a gang house despite her real father's appeal to CYF to have her rescued. Even their own internal report showed they had failed to meet their own "standards".

In 2007 Coral's father, Ron Burrows, said "every time there was an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding her death it brought the spotlight back on to child abuse. Each time a child was attacked he would like to see coverage of the event so people would be aware of the magnitude of the problem."

Since then we've seen other high profile cases such as
  • Twins Chris and Cru Kahui were murdered by either their meth addicted father or their meth addicted mother. The jury rejected charges against the father, but the police never charged the mother.
  • 3 year old Nia Glassie tortured and killed by her mother's drug addicted much younger boyfriend and his brother. The mother has since been paroled with a condition that she completes an alcohol and drug course. [NZ Herald]

¿Que? believes that Drugs which cause dangerous psychosis and their addicts need to be off the streets. If methamphetamine addicts were removed from the streets, they would no longer visit violence on innocent members of the public. I'd like to think that the addicts can be cleaned up and returned drug-free to society, but if necessary containment for life is an acceptable alternative.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Auckland council officials face corruption charges

Three men with links to Auckland Transport and Rodney District Council have been charged in relation to allegations of bribery and corruption worth more than $1 million between 2005 and 2013.



The SFO said it believed George and an associate, while in
various engineering and management roles either at Auckland Transport or
Rodney District Council, received undisclosed payments or gratuities
from Borlase.



 The payments often came in the form of cash, travel, accommodation and entertainment, the SFO said.



The
SFO said a culture was created within the road maintenance division
where the acceptance of gratuities was part and parcel of the working
environment.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Another Stuff up, late reporting of Pascall changing Milk Bottles recipe

Another stuff up,  several months after it was announced, Stuff.co.nz reports that Pascall have changed the formula of one of their sweets:

Prepare for another Creme Eggs furore - because Milk Bottle lollies have a new taste, and no-one seems to like it.

Rather ironically, given the name of the product, Pascall have changed the recipe to milk-free ingredients.

"As milk is an allergen, and Pascall Milk Bottles were the only product in our Jelly Candy factory which used this ingredient, we took the decision to remove the allergen from the factory in order to be in line with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)," the brand said in a statement last October.

I can't remember eating these sweets since I was a child, so I'm not worried either way, but Stuff's piece has attracted the usual bunch of complaints.

I doubt that any of the complainers are going to take it any further and I'm sure that Pascalls will worry about their bottom line and not a few words on Stuff's  page.

I think that if big media wants to be taken seriously it needs to get involved earlier and not wait until 6 months later to complain.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The commercialisation of ANZAC Day

With the centenary of the landings at the start of the Gallipoli campaign in just a few days time it seems everyone is leaping on the bandwagon.



Big media is as always attempting to make as large an audience boost as possible from its "coverage" of set-piece events while the RSA is doing its best to stop the worst commercial exploitation. It seems that the RSA is allowing some limited use, e.g. allowing milk tankers to display poppies



In an Article on Stuff.co.nz we read

University of Auckland senior marketing lecturer Michael Lee said the RSA needed to be careful not to have too many commercial partners.



"You don't want to cheapen it and turn it into Valentine's Day, or even Christmas [which] has become very commercialised," Lee said.

"Anzac Day could risk going that way if it's just seen as another hook for marketers to put a spin on things."

It was not just the corporates that put Anzac Day at risk of commercialisation, Lee said.

"Some of those tours to Gallipoli are more likely to be cashing in on this sort of thing," he said..

"If you're not an official tour guide, or company associated with the RSA or anything, and you're just trying to cash in on all the Australians and New Zealanders going to Gallipoli, then that is an even more cynical viewpoint [than the corporations]."



I'm sure that whatever the reasons New Zealanders and Australians fought, making money for corporations and big media weren't among them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Zimbabwe's Sex Workers Switch to Mobile Phone Payment Systems

We're getting TV adverts extolling the benefits of using our phones to pay for baby sitters or lawn mowing services.



In Zimbabwe, they seem to have haven it to the next level.

 Sex workers in Harare are now demanding that clients pay for services through mobile platforms to avoid being duped with most now moving around with at least two mobile phones to facilitate transactions.

Full Article: allAfrica.com
Zimbabwe, of course, has a collapsed economy & has abandonned having its own currency, so it doesn't seem that unreasonable for them to have done this.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mobility scooter rider murdered on pedestrian crossing by truckie

¿Que? knows New Zealand has an arrogance problem by road users and while cyclists(*) and young children are notorious for making risky turns, or darting onto pedestrian crossings this one really takes the biscuit.



An 88 year old elderly man injured when a light truck struck a mobility scooter in Otago has died. he was struck by a truck while using a pedestrian crossing on his mobility scooter. More on Stuff.co.nz.


88 year olds might still be risk takers but mobility scooters travel at a slow walking pace and if he was on the pedestrian crossing this is nothing less than gross negligence by the truck driver.



(*)The owner of this article on ¿Que? is a cyclist.

 


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